Sheryl Staples, violin
Violinist Sheryl Staples joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Associate Concertmaster, The Elizabeth G. Beinecke Chair, in 1998, and made her solo debut with the Orchestra in 1999 performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, led by Kurt Masur. She has since been featured in more than 25 performances, playing concertos by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Bach, and Vivaldi with conductors including Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Kent Nagano, Jeffrey Kahane, Colin Davis, and Jaap van Zweden. She has also performed as soloist with more than 45 other orchestras nationwide, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego and Richmond Symphony Orchestras, and Louisiana Philharmonic.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Staples frequently performs in New York-area venues including David Geffen Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has performed chamber music for U.S. Ambassadors in London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, and Hong Kong, and in 2013 she toured Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Recent summer festival appearances include La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Boston Chamber Music Society, and Salt Bay Chamberfest. She has also collaborated and performed at the chamber music festivals of Santa Fe, Mainly Mozart, Seattle, Aspen, Sarasota, Martha’s Vineyard, Strings Music Festival, and Brightstar Music Festival. She appears on three Stereophile compact discs with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
A native of Los Angeles, Sheryl Staples began studying the violin at age five; her major mentors were Robert Lipsett and Heiichiro Ohyama. Before finishing studies at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School of Music, Ms. Staples was appointed concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and other professional ensembles in Los Angeles. She then became concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony in 1994 while enjoying a varied career consisting of solo appearances, chamber music, teaching (at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts), and Hollywood studio recording work for numerous major motion pictures.
At the age of 26, Ms. Staples joined The Cleveland Orchestra as associate concertmaster. Having taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Encore School for Strings, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival, and serving as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio, she is currently on the violin faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard Pre-College Division. She also serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School working with students aspiring toward orchestral careers.
Ms. Staples and her husband, percussionist Barry Centanni, premiered William Kraft’s Concerto a Tre for piano, violin, and percussion, written for them, at Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s summer festival and recorded it for release on the Albany Records label in 2008. They also premiered David Sampson’s Black River Concerto for solo violin, percussion, and orchestra in April 2011 with the Montclair State University Symphony.
Ms. Staples performs on the “Kartman” Guarneri del Gesu, c. 1728, previously on loan from private collector Peter Mandell and now in the collection of the New York Philharmonic.